How To Care For And Maintain Wood Cabinets

Wood cabinets should be taken care of to ensure their durability. It is important to regularly clean and polish your cabinets and to know which products you can use safely.


After installation, you should start to take care of your cabinets. Then wipe them clean with a soft cloth. Finally, dry them. Use a high-quality furniture varnish. Make sure the polish does not contain silicone or wax. Polish protects cabinets from minor scratches and stains.

Clean Every Two Weeks

You can keep your cabinets looking brand new and clean by wiping them down once per week using a soft, clean, damp cloth. You can also use mild dishwasher detergent with water to dampen the cloth if water is not enough to clean your cabinets. When cleaning the cabinets, make sure you wipe them in the same direction that the wood grain. Dry the cabinets thoroughly after you are done cleaning them.

Special Care

Sometimes bi-weekly cleaning is not enough to get rid of all dirt and stains in your cabinets. When this happens, there are two options:

  1. Mix water and baking soda to make a paste. Use a sponge to rub the paste. You should rinse the cabinet with water. Use a soft cloth to dry it.
  2. Mix vinegar and water (1/4c to 4-c) to gently scrub dirt and stains.

Avoid damaging products by not using them

A variety of products, or their components, can cause damage to cabinets, including water, mild dishwashing soap, vinegar, baking soda, and baking soda. Avoid their use. These include:

  • Ammonia
  • Bleach
  • Citric acid (also known by orange and lemon oils).
  • Nail polish remover
  • Paint thinners
  • Products made of petroleum-based materials
  • Plastic brushes
  • Scouring pads
  • Use self-polishing waxes
  • Solvents
  • Steel wool
  • Strong soaps and detergents

Maintenance Tips

Scratches & Nicks – If cabinets have been scratched or nicked it is best to use a kit for repair. Furniture oil may be used to “cover-up” minor scratches.

SpillsDon’t let spills sit. Spills must be cleaned up immediately to avoid staining. You can use a sponge or damp towel to clean up spillages. Dry the area as soon as possible.

Cabinets can quickly deteriorate if they are exposed to excessive moisture. Cabinets close to the sink and dishwasher are, particularly at risk. After they have been wet, dry the cabinets immediately. Make sure appliances that produce steam like coffee makers are not placed in cabinets that could cause damage.

Wood can shrink/swell, expand/contract and dry out depending on temperature and humidity fluctuations. This can lead to cracking or other problems. Cabinets can be at risk if the humidity and temperature levels remain constant throughout the year.

This article was written by Jordan Legault, Jordan is the owner of The French Refinery. Founded in 2015, The French Refinery quickly built a name and reputation for high-end cabinetry with quality craftsmanship and attention to fine detail. We strive every day to provide the utmost in customer service because our customers deserve the best we can provide. We have built a hand-picked team of talented craftsmen with over 100 years of combined experience. Building Custom cabinets in Tampa is our craft, we love what we do, and we make it show through in the work we provide on a daily basis.